Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frank Zappa - The London Symphony Orchestra, Vols. 1 & 2

Kent Nagano / London Symphony Orchestra

Volume I

1983; 6 tracks


Volume II

1987; 3 tracks


"Something magnificent to move the air in your room around. Frank Zappa's compositions performed by the LSO, conducted by the now-well-known Kent Nagano. These are some of the most intricate compositions in all of Zappadom; even with the LSO working at full strength, Zappa has noted that it took many hundreds of tape splices to get the pieces just right. Along with the grandeur of 'Bogus Pomp' (much-expanded from its original appearance on Orchestral Favorites), there's the rich melodicism of 'Sad Jane' and the many musical nooks and crannies of 'Mo 'n' Herb's Vacation.'

Tracks from this session were originally scattered among two vinyl albums and one CD. This new and expanded edition includes all the LSO tracks on 2 CDs. Other highlights include 'Strictly Genteel' (also reworked from Orchestral Favorites) and 'Bob In Dacron.'"

A guy in my class who, apparently, is studying jazz and guitar asked me if I liked Frank Zappa a few days ago. I said that I did, but have only heard a small portion of what he's done. He asked me what album(s), I said We're Only in it For the Money. He shook his head and said that I had to hear his orchestral music, as well as his live and posthumous work. The London Symphony Orchestra albums and The Yellow Shark were the two he told me to start off with, and I was super excited when I found these in the library! This music, written for the orchestra, is insane and unpredictable. It is like watching a mind unravel through instruments, or like wandering through a universe simultaneously black and brightly colored, with shapes and ideas and thoughts floating past at various speeds and with various saturations. I am not a Zappa-expert, nor do I care much about what the general opinion of these works are. I was moved by their originality and I wonder if you might be too.


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